|This little desert town is a wee bit further north that Iquique nearing the border with Peru. Its actually a bit of a disputed territory. Just to prove that Bush isn't the only dodgy bugger around, how's this for a bit of cheek. Bolivia (which used to have a coastline) invited Chilean companies into this area to assist with the mining of minerals. After a while, Bolivia decided that these companies, like all others, should be taxed on the money they were making. Never mind a hostile takeover ala Robert Maxwell; in this case, the Chilean government got so pissed off that they decided to annex the whole territory. Poor little Bolivia not only lost all the mineral rights, they also lost their only beach. Its all still under negotiation, but the area is being so heavily marketed as prime tourist destinatoins by Chile, that you really do suspect that they ain't giving nothing back to the Bolivians.
Arica is a gorgeous little town though. A real clean, classic Spanish type feel to it, with a warm climate, cute lil harbour, and some epic beach restaurants. It was here that we sat for ages, dining on cheap, scrumdiddlyumptious seafood whilst watching the amazing sunsets over the Pacific (Fuzz) and the tight young Chilean gals playing bat and ball (Phil). The sort of visual smorgasbord to make one's eyes water.
Alas, we could only spend one night here, in a great little hostel run by a French/Chilean couple. I would tell you the name, but I don't have my notes here. Well, I don't have Fuzz's notes here cos my diary kinda fizzled out in India for various reasons, mostly to do with me just preferring to lie around in the sun and catch up on all that Vitamin D that I been deprived of for so many years.